The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players that took part in Round 6 of the A-League Women season.
It was another big week in the A-League Women in a round that saw 13 goals over four games. The Western Sydney Wanderers enjoyed their first win, while Sydney FC continued its undefeated run.
Elsewhere Adelaide United and Melbourne City enhanced their top four credentials with strong wins.
Goalkeeper and defenders
GK: Sarah Langman (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Langman (nee Willacy) was vital in the Wanderers’ first win of the season. Brisbane Roar peppered the goal and the visitors defence all game. That they were able to hold onto a 1-0 result was due largely to their goalkeeper.
She made some vital saves, including one from point blank range on the stroke of half time and was quick off her line to close the angles from other attacks. It was a great performance in a big result.Embed from Getty Images
RB: Isabel Hodgson (Adelaide United)
The returning captain was vital for Adelaide as it recorded its second win in a row. In a mainly defensive role she was up against Karly Roestbakken in the first half and Ashleigh Sykes in the second.
Hodgson was in no mood to give up any easy chances or crosses from her side of the pitch, and put in an excellent performance to keep Adelaide in the finals hunt.
CB: Clare Hunt (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Hunt barely put a foot wrong in a defiant Western Sydney back four. She was partnered with 15 year old Alexia Apostolakis and was composed in the face of constant Brisbane pressure.
The Wanderers play quite defensively, but do not rely on getting mass numbers behind the ball. Clare Hunt was one of their best players in their best performance so far.
LB: Winonah Heatley (Melbourne City)
Melbourne City has quietly become a contender as the season approaches the half way mark. Winonah Heatley has quietly become one of their best players.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson identified her as one of the league’s best ball playing defenders. Her selection to the senior training squad has been justified by her performances.
Heatley played a typically solid game and celebrated her call up in style. When she bundled the ball over from a set piece, it was her first for the season, and a good way to mark the occasion.
Kaitlyn Torpey (Melbourne City)
Melbourne City went into this round in form and at full strength. However, Wellington Phoenix came to play and proved difficult to break down. Torpey broke the deadlock with a thunderbolt from the edge of the box.
After the impressive Wellington resistance was broken, the goals began to flow. City eventually ran out 4-0 winners, but Torpey’s technique changed the course of the match.
Libby Copus-Brown (Western Sydney Wanderers)
The Wanderers’ playmaker is the third player from her side in the team this week. Copus-Brown is a barometer for her team; when she plays well and is used well, their chances improve.
Against Brisbane Roar she was dangerous in attack and disciplined without the ball. She should have scored after receiving a long pass in the first half, but otherwise had an excellent game.
Brisbane’s midfield was in strong form on Sunday and Copus-Brown had to be at her best to keep Western Sydney in the game and help secure the result.
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Dylan Holmes (Adelaide United)
Holmes is back. She made her return appearance in the last round against Perth Glory, but against Canberra United, Dylan Holmes brought back the magic.
Her volleyed goal to open the scoring was the best of an entertaining match. Emily Condon cleverly lifted it over the defence for Sarah Hayward to nod across to Holmes.
The former skipper lashed home a volley to put Adelaide on the way to another win. The returning star put in another impressive performance for The Reds. Holmes’ decision to re-join Adelaide United might be one of the most important signings of the season when the final four is decided.
Mackenzie Hawkesby (Sydney FC)
Hawkesby is the league’s in form midfielder. It was a genuine surprise to many that she did not receive a Matildas callup. Her impact is matched by her consistency, and against Perth Glory she put in another strong performance.
The 21-year-old scored again from midfield and supplied the long pass for Cortnee Vine’s goal. She is having a breakout year and is included in this team for the third time.
Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC)
Based on this season’s performances, it might be easier to assume that Vine will be in this team every week. The only reason she will not be is if she is included in the final Matildas squad.
Vine’s goal was everything she is known for. As the long ball dropped behind the defence, Vine controlled it into her path with one touch. After racing clear, she composed herself, and hit it low and hard into the far bottom corner.
Her assist for Sydney’s third goal was even better. Tight up against the corner flag, she nutmegged her opponent and drove into goal. Her cross towards Remy Siemsen was turned in expertly from close range.
She is fast, intelligent and deadly. Vine is the A-League Women’s best footballer right now.
Hannah Wilkinson (Melbourne City)
Is there a better finisher than the New Zealand striker? Not for the first time this season she scored with a wonderful chip.
After missing chances in the earlier games, Wilkinson has found her groove. Her pace and technique make her a difficult match up for any defender. If the goalkeeper stays on their line, Wilkinson has the power to drive in to hit it past them. If they come out to close the angle, she clips it over the top.
It was another game and another goal of the week contender from City’s new star forward.
Fiona Worts (Adelaide United)
Worts is a brilliant footballer. Her quick feet and mobility across the attack make her hard to track for defenders and fun to watch for spectators.
She played a part in all three of Adelaide’s goals. Her twisting, aggressive dribbling caused chaos for the Canberra United defence to result on Holmes’ goal. She later played a perfect cross-field pass to set up Chelsie Dawber for the Reds’ second.
When Canberra was in the ascendancy, she drilled a low shot off her left foot to guarantee the win. Worts is dangerous every week and steadily getting better.
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